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Kilcooly Abbey

Kilcooly Abbey

Midlands Ireland | County Tipperary

Kilcooly Cistercian Abbey is located in the village of Gortnahoe, in County Tipperary. It is one of the finest Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland and a great example of Gothic architecture. It was founded in 1182 by Donal Mor O'Brien, the King of Thomond, and became a daughter foundation of the Jerpoint Abbey in County Kilkenny. In 1418, the monastery was attacked and burned and again it was almost completely destroyed by armed forces in 1444. After the attacks, Ormond Butlers launched a major renovation carried out under the supervision of the abbot, Philip O'Molwanayn. The nave aisles were removed, and a new north transept, entrance porch, and tower were added. Also, most of the great sculptures date to this reconstruction. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1540s, Kilcooly Abbey was suspended. The lands were granted to Butlers, who allowed Cistercians to remain at the monastery until they sold it to Sir Jerome Alexander, in 1636. In 1641, after the Catholic Confederacy rebellion monks returned to Kilcooly until they were finally removed by Cromwell's forces in 1650. In 1676, the abbey was converted to a residence and was inhabited until 1790, when Kilcooly House was built. Today the abbey is under the care of OPW and is open for visitors. In addition to many wonderful sculptures and tombstones (including the impressive tomb of Pierce Fitz Og Butler dating from 1526), there is also a well-preserved dovecot on the site.

    • Freely accessible
    • 52.671072
    • -7.569610
  • CAR PARK :
    • Roadside

Photos from Kilcooly Abbey